Bupa is hoping to expand in India's fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group's CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it's so keen on the new opportunity.
Bupa's not the biggest but it's looking pretty fit. The British private healthcare group's profits are up on last year, says CEO Stuart Fletcher... (SOUNDBITE) (English): BUPA, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, STUART FLETCHER, SAYING: "15 percent at constant exchange rate revenue growth, 8 percent profit growth. We are focusing on good growth in all of our businesses, we are really focused on expanding our footprint and we are making sure that our people really are at the core of our performance and at the core of what we are about." Bupa serves over 22 million customers in 190 countries. Its biggest markets include the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Expansion in India is high on the agenda once crucial legislation to allow more foreign direct investment is in place. (SOUNDBITE) (English): BUPA, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, STUART FLETCHER, SAYING: "In India we have a partnership with the Max Group, we are a 26 percent shareholder, limited by FDI but committed to increase, we very clearly announced as soon as the ordinance came out to go to 49 percent." Bupa has 2 billion pounds in outstanding debt. But it's in a global market which is thriving. (SOUNDBITE) (English): BUPA, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, STUART FLETCHER, SAYING: "It is one of the fastest growing and already one of the largest market places in the world, healthcare generally. Within that private healthcare is a very buoyant and growing sector and to be honest I see growth potential everywhere, it is a bit like going into a candy shop." That's something Bupa would probably not encourage its customers to do. Keeping them healthy pays greater dividends.